We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
A Sincere Christmas Suggestion
To: All of you who feel the need to shop for everyone you know, used to know, or might know in the future, whether you start purchasing gifts in April from a carefully prepared Excel spreadsheet, rush around the last week like some insane Tasmanian Devil, or visit the 24 hour drug store Christmas morning to purchase guilt ridden, desperation presents for those who surprised you.
From: Those who don’t need any more scented candles, books about our hobbies, vocation, or sports allegiances, or decorative wine stoppers. People who enjoy the fellowship and good cheer of the holiday season, revel in remembering childhood events and long dead relatives, drink to close friends who have no need of anything more than a heartfelt hug, a smile, and a free drink.
We have turned Christmas into a stress filled nightmare where no one is happy except for Wal Mart, all of us spend way too much money, and unwanted Christmas gifts are piling up in hall closets like clothes we are no longer able to wear.
Get something for the kids, sure; that’s what Christmas as we celebrate it is designed to be. Watch their mouths open in wonder and their little eyes sparkle with the magic associated with the season. Seeing a bicycle or Red Ryder BB gun under a lighted tree on Christmas morning is a top ten moment for most of us until we are Promoted to Glory.
But aren’t we going overboard when we start getting things for our adult friends, relatives, and even those who we meet on a regular basis. Who started the practice of buying a Christmas gift for the mailman? You know it was some retailer. Same with co-workers, distant cousins, and friends you see frequently but would never spend a vacation with.
First of all, no one is smart enough to give everyone on the list the perfect present. I know you think you are the exception, but trust me, you are not. If they are of legal age, have spending money, and don’t already have it, there is probably a good reason.
Buying guilt-ridden gifts for others is a double edged sword; not only do you stick them with something they will never use, you are going to get something just as useless in return. Now everyone has to spend New Year’s morning re-arranging the hall closet so everything fits.
Let’s try this next year. Gather all of the people you feel pressure to spend money on, open some drinks, make some cookies and crab spread, and announce you are going to give a food bank, local hospice center, animal support group, or arts association the total sum you would be spending on the entire group. No one has to rush around in horrible traffic to retaliate; no one has to feign delight; no one has to make room for more crap. Everybody wins. Especially the charities that desperately need the help every year.
This is a painless, sensible, and cost efficient way to celebrate Christmas. And while we’re at it, quit whining about the true meaning of Christmas. Every aspect of this holiday is borrowed or stolen from another celebration. Just because your family celebrates one way doesn’t make it the correct way. Stop acting so sensitive and let’s all make this a memorable Christmas season. You will be surprised how painless this can be.
If my plan doesn’t work, we’ll change back in 2013, assuming the Mayans miscalculated.
- Image: licensed by LikeTheDew.com at iStock.com @ Tran The Vuong.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
"The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil." -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi Arabian Minister of Oil, 2000 The Great Transition has begun. I know, because our household is part of it. I speak of humanity's transition from the bondage of addiction to fossil fuels -- addiction that has fouled our air and water, disrupted our climate and ravaged our earth -- to the liberation of renewable energy. You're looking at our house. On February 4, we installed a 12-panel solar photovoltaic (PV) array Read on →
When I was young, Mamie Lattimer lived across the street from my grandmother in Jackson, Mississippi. Her yard could only be charitably described as a jungle. My grandmother loved it. In the summer, you weren't sure there was really a house there. Crepe myrtles, hollyhock, lantana (in the one sunny area), nandina, magnolia, and other assorted bushes, shrubs, and bulbs not readily apparent covered every inch of the corner lot. It wasn't until I was an adult that I really appreciated why it was Dar (my grandmother--short for Darling Darling. Proof your grandkids will call you whatever they damn well Read on →
Some of my readers at Gwinnett Forum have asked if I was serious about requiring that the Georgia General Assembly meet only once in every two years. In short, you betcha! Why? Because most Georgians will tell you that nothing is safe when the Georgia Legislature meets, as members introduce all sorts of measures that negatively impacts its citizens, most bills only benefiting some local constituent. Major case in point: while the state government seeks cuts in school budgets (read as taking away bus driver’s health insurance, while raising the salary of judges), they dance around a billion dollar sales tax rebate f Read on →
Sometimes the universe surprises you. A few months ago, I received an email from independent filmmaker Frank Huguenard. Having read some of my posts on the science of consciousness, Frank wanted to know if I'd consider being interviewed for a film on that subject. Cautious (and camera-shy), I was a bit wary and politely asked for more information. Frank suggested that I view his three previous films -- Beyond Me, Beyond Belief, and Beyond Reason, each available through his website BeyondMeFilm.com. All are thought-provoking treatments of controversial subjects. The latter deals mindfully with the interface between science and spirituality, the subject Read on →